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Blue Waffle Disease: Is it a myth or a real STD?

Worried about getting the blue waffle disease? Keep your fears aside and find out whether this is a real STD that makes the vagina go blue!
Blue waffle disease a myth or fact
Is blue waffle disease a myth or fact? Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Radhika Bhirani Updated: 31 Aug 2023, 23:18 pm IST
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Even over a decade after the term blue waffle disease came into being, there is curiosity whether it is real sexually transmitted disease (STD) or not. A photograph of an infected blue-tinted labia was circulated on the internet in 2010, leading people to discuss this strange health issue that would turn the vagina blue. If you are worried about getting this disease, take a breath and read on.

What is blue waffle disease?

As per Urban Dictionary, the word waffle is used as a slang term for vagina. Blue waffle, meanwhile, is used as a slang for a vaginal infection causing its blue discolouration. But is blue waffle disease real? there is no medical evidence to support such a condition, Dr Madhu Juneja, Senior consultant Gynecologist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Pune, Kalyani Nagar, tells Health Shots.

Blue waffle is not an STD

In the world of myths, blue waffle disease can mimic symptoms of commonly-known STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Furthermore, people claim it is a sexually transmitted disease that only affects women and that there is no cure. But reputed doctors and experts across the world have clarified there is nothing called a blue waffle disease.

“It is a well-known internet hoax with someone who has extensive, beautiful photoshopping skills,” Dr Anita Ravi, a New Jersey-based cardiologist said in a 2017 speech shared online via the Annals of Internal Medicine.

With age and various phases of life, your vaginal region can change the way it looks. The colour of the skin around your vagina or labia may, in fact, undergo changes during pregnancy. The labia – the outer and inner folds of the vagina – may even get darker during puberty. But these are normal changes.

What is important is that you do not get misled by internet pranks and hoaxes. Instead, gather knowledge and awareness about real sexually transmitted infections and diseases that can be harmful for your health.

Sexually transmitted infections
Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Common sexually transmitted diseases

While the Blue Waffle Disease might be a myth and is a fabricated disease, real STIs pose serious health concerns worldwide, says Dr Madhu Juneja.

Some of the more commonly known STDs or sexually transmitted infections include the human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

HIV/AIDS is another significant STI due to its severe consequences because of compromised immunity, and there are ongoing global efforts towards its prevention and cure.

Who is at risk of STD?

Anyone who is sexually active can contract STD, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation.

The doctor explains: “Regular STI testing is usually advised for those with history of multiple sexual partners, individuals not consistently using barrier protection such as condoms, those who have had an STI in the past, and/or those individuals involved with a partner who fits these descriptions. Even those in monogamous relationships should consider regular testing as symptoms are not always present with STIs, potentially leading to unknowing transmission between partners.”

Also read: If your partner gets ‘blue balls’, here’s what it means

How to prevent sexually transmitted infections?

Safe sex practices
Safe sex can keep you away from unwanted infections. Image courtesy: Unsplash

An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that an estimated 1 in 5 people in the US had an STI in 2018. The cases have continued to grow. In 2021, over 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were reported in 2021, states CDC.

Prevention is better than cure. These are some practical tips to avoid contracting STIs and drive away any fears of contracting the mythical blue waffle disease!

Dr Juneja shares important tips to practise safe sex and how to prevent sexually transmitted infections.

1. Use protection

Barrier methods such as condoms and dental dams can greatly reduce the risk of STIs during sexual activity.

2. Screening and tests

Early detection can prevent the spread of an STI and allow for quicker treatment. Discuss your testing frequency with your healthcare provider. It is very important to share you history in detail with doctor rather than hiding it

3. Open communication

Talking about STDs with your sexual partners, asking about any symptoms or discharge from vagina or penis, can help ensure that everyone is aware of their health status and takes appropriate precautions accordingly.

4. Limit your number of sexual partners

Reducing the number of sexual partners decreases your exposure risk.

5. Vaccinations

It is very important and required in this era of time that awareness about vaccination should be created among youth. Certain STDs like HPV and Hepatitis A and B can be prevented through vaccines. Consult with your healthcare provider about these.

6. Sexual abstinence

The only sure-shot way to avoid STDs is abstaining from sexual activity. Start treatment with your health personnel and abstain from sexual activity till infective period gets over.

While the internet can sometimes foster myths like the Blue Waffle Disease, it also disseminates accurate information and resources about sexual health and safety. By focusing on STDs and their prevention, we can contribute to healthier sexual behaviours and decisions.

Check out: Are you putting yourself at a higher risk of STI? Take this quiz to find out

Frequently asked questions about blue waffle disease

What are the signs of blue waffle disease?

Well, you don’t be worried about it because there is nothing called the blue waffle disease. But what we can tell you that you must pay attention to any changes in your vaginal health and consult a doctor to rule out any adverse condition.

Am I at risk of blue waffle disease?

Keep your worries aside! It is a fictional condition born out of an internet prank. There is no such disease that turns the vagina blue!

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About the Author

Radhika Bhirani is a journalist with close to 15 years of experience in the Indian media industry. After writing extensively on health, lifestyle and entertainment, she leads the English content team at Health Shots. She has a special interest in writing on mental health and wellness. ...Read More

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